Victoria Scott: Solicitor in T-minus 650 Days

Posted on January 12, 2016

I suppose it all started in 2010, when I applied to study Law at University. One year later, after receiving my A-level results, I packed my life up into many boxes and bags and made the 140 mile journey to Birmingham. I had the most fantastic time studying at the University of Birmingham, with my time there confirming my real desire to qualify as a Solicitor. Whilst I was sure of my goal, there were still many decisions to be made: What type of firm did I want to work for? What area of law did I want to specialise in? Did I want to work for a large commercial firm, a niche practice, a general practice or any of those that fall in between? There were so many areas of Law I had explored whilst studying in Birmingham and many of them I thoroughly enjoyed. I knew there were lots of decisions to be made, but for the time being, I decided to not worry, to enrol onto the Legal Practice Course and to see where the next year was to take me.

There were times when I questioned whether I should take a year out before starting the LPC but I think that’s a fairly natural worry. Of course, the LPC is a fantastic investment. However, in a time where Training Contracts are quite frankly, ‘gold dust’, the prospect of completing the course without a Training Contract in place can be fairly daunting. Having spoken to my peers, I know this is a very common concern for many Law students who complete the LPC without securing a Training Contract first. Whilst I think it is safe to say that the situation is very different with the London ‘Magic Circle’ firms and the large commercial firms- I think most firms are very welcoming of students who have completed their LPC prior to securing Training Contracts. The majority of my LPC class had not secured Training Contracts when we started the course. Encouragingly, most have now either secured Training Contracts or are working as Paralegals in firms where they will hopefully secure Training Contracts in the near future. Personally, I think that deciding to invest in the Legal Practice Course shows a real commitment to qualifying and practicing as a Solicitor. So, for those of you who may be worried about ‘commercial risk’, my advice would be to trust that it will work out: If you want it- go get it!

After successfully completing the LPC earlier this year, I worked at a niche Law firm for three months before starting at Jefferies Solicitors, in Southend-on-Sea in September 2015. I completed three months as a Paralegal at Jefferies, in the Dispute Resolution department before starting my Training Contract in December 2015.

I’m currently working in the Dispute Resolution department, being supervised by Mark Rothman, an Associate Solicitor and Duncan Bennington, an Assistant Solicitor. Day-to-day, I assist the department with matters relating to Employment, Possession Proceedings, Debt Recovery, Will Disputes and Personal Injury.

The good news is that I’ve survived my first month as a trainee! If there is one thing I have learnt already… it is that you can never fully plan a day in the office. ‘To do lists’ may make you feel calm at the beginning of the day but the influx of phone calls and e-mails will soon direct your day in a new direction. As a paralegal/ trainee who wanted to write a ‘to do list’ and have everything ticked off by the end of the day, I soon learnt that this wasn’t the way things worked. It’s about prioritising and managing your own expectations.

I have learnt so much in my first month as a trainee and I cannot wait to see where the next two years take me.

I have decided to write a blog documenting my training contract, the challenges faced, the mistakes made and the lessons learnt throughout my journey to qualification!


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